Can An Electrician Sign Off His Own Work?

We look at some essential electrical certification questions in this article and answer:

  • When you need to hire an electrician, do they need to sign off on their work? 
  • Can only qualified electricians sign off on electrical work? 
  • Does an electrician need to sign off on DIY electrical alterations?

You will need an electrician who can sign off his work when you have electrical work done in your bathroom or kitchen as both fall under part P, notifiable work. DIY enthusiasts can make alterations to lighting circuits outside of the bathroom and kitchen without signing off.

Can you do your own electrical work in the UK?

Yes and no. There are strict regulations in place under part P of the building regulations for notifiable work. The regulations are in place on the grounds of safety and not bolster the coffers of the electrician fraternity.

If you fall foul of the part P regulations, you could find yourself in hot water and potentially be criminally prosecuted under the strict regulations.

However, the regulations are reasonable, allowing you to carry out some electrical work in your homes, such as spurring a lighting circuit or extending lighting circuits outside the kitchen or bathroom.

How would you get caught if you carried out your own electrical work?

It’s a good question and one that should be addressed.

Let’s assume you have installed an electric shower over your bath, everything has gone well, and the job looks like a professional has completed the work.

You have spurred off an existing ring main and have fitted an uprated RCD. It all sounds perfect, right?

Then the worst happens, and there is a fire or, god forbid, a fatal electric shock within the household.

An investigation ensues as it will! And it’s found you did everything wrong and carried out notifiable work without a qualified electrician.

The judge will not be impressed.

If you ever need an EICR when you come to sell your home, the evidence will be facing the electrician who completes the EICR, who will be obliged to submit his report to the relevant authority.

What qualifications do you need to sign off on electrical work in the UK?

You will need to attend a recognised electrician apprenticeship that has taken 4 years to complete.

You will have gained a City & Guilds 2391-50 Level 3 award in the initial verification of electrical installations during this time.

This is the bare minimum of qualifications needed to work unsupervised as an electrician.

With this qualification, you will be able to test and interpret the results allowing you to take remedial action if there is a fault.

There is one caveat! New installations only can be signed off.

Is it illegal to do electrical work without a UK license?

It’s a debatable question. The UK is a free society, and you can do pretty much anything you want withinside the parameters of the laws, of which some are ancient but still have relevance when it comes to legal precedence.

If you rewire your home within the safety guidelines of building regulations and the 18th edition wiring regulations, you have saved yourself a wheelbarrow full of cash.

However, you will hit a problem when you need a certificate such as an EICR. Almost all electricians will not offer to put their good name against an unknown entity.

If you come clean and say you did your own work, there is no chance of getting the electrics certified.

Does an electrician have to provide a UK certificate?

Yes. Regardless of the size and scope of the work, your electrician will supply you with a certificate to comply with the building regulations.

If the electrician does not offer a certificate, you can remind him and ask for one.

Can any electrician issue a certificate?

No, only a registered and competent electrician can issue a certificate EIC after completing electrical work in your home.

To become registered or accredited as a competent electrician, the electrician has undergone formal and recognised training for 4 years in theory and practical skills.

The electrician then qualifies but is required to work for a further 2 years before they can apply to be an accredited electrician who is then able to sign off his work and issue certificates.

Do you need an EICR to sell your home in 2022?

No. However, if you have had any work on your notifiable electrical system, you will need certifications to prove the work has been completed within the regulations.

Having an EICR when you sell your home is an advantage as it gives prospective buyers the confidence that they are not in for a potentially expensive rewire and all of the associated disruptions rewires bring.

What happens if I can’t get an EICR?

If you assume that an electrician is not going to issue an EICR for some reason then all is not lost.

Speak with your conveyancing solicitor and explain the situation and that you would be prepared to take out an indemnity insurance policy to cover the wiring of the house.

It may be an unconventional approach to resolving the problem, but it should be sufficient to placate a concerned home buyer.

Can you get a retrospective electrical certificate?

First, you need to contact the electrician who completed the work and ask the electrician to issue the certificate.

Hopefully, you have a receipt proving the work was paid for on a date that coincides with your electrical installation.

If you can’t find the electrician, you will have to contact an electrician and explain what happened and the predicament you are in and hope he shows a modicum of mercy towards you.

Alternatively, speak with your conveyancing solicitor and pursue an indemnity insurance policy covering your home’s wiring.

How much is an electrical safety certificate in the UK?

As a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay approximately £300 for a 4 bedroom house, but rates do vary depending on your location.

Expect to pay much more around London.

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